Fine art and other stuff.

As many of you could have guessed, I am a collector of fine art.  Only the classiest and most expensive pieces deserve space on my walls.  Last weekend I spent time perusing a wonderful assortment of works by a variety of artists and selected a couple to add to my collection.  One in particular I thought may be of interest to you fellow birders...

             Untitled, Unsigned
Yes, this fine gem set me back about 700 pennies over at a boutique in southeast Portland (Le Goodwill, I believe it was called).  I don't really understand the piece but I find myself staring at it quite a bit. 

Back to the land of real birds... Yesterday morning I took the dogs for a walk along Broughton Beach which is a whole lot more interesting in the winter.  Still, it was a nice walk with lots of funny plumaged gulls...

And at least one gull that was not an identification nightmare:

Ring-billed Gull

An Osprey family put on a nice aerial show for me as the three birds glided and soared and all that good stuff, often right over my head.

It's hard to see but this bird was giving me a major stare-down.  And everyone loves a good bird + bridge shot, right?

Mmm, I-205 in all of its glory.  When I walk this area I usually turn around at the Sea Scout base- mainly because I like to peek in the mini-marina for ducks and things.  One of their docks is being reclaimed by nature...

I like to walk back along the bike path because it offers a good vantage point for seeing what's perched on the airport fences.  Unfortunately yesterday there were no birds at all, not even a Red-tailed Hawk.  Some jets started taking off which are mind-blowingly loud. 

I stopped by Force Lake on my way home and found more weird domestic (possibly hybrid) Mallard families.  They really seem to be taking over this summer unlike the last couple and I'm really hoping this does not affect the ducks that come in the fall/winter.  At least the young ones are kinda cute.

And that's all I have to share today... I promise to track down some more interesting birds this weekend so you won't have to look at Mallards again.  Good times!


  1. I like your object d'art...whats that note in the magpie's mouth say? It is very interesting the cats are especially unique.
    Very nice osprey shots!! Sweet gulls and mallards are always nice to see. A flock of wild turkey have been living at a small pond I pass everyday...its so nice to pass by there and see them feeding. IF I pull over they will flush into the woods so I drive slow and enjoy them.

  2. Neat artwork piece, a great Goodwill find. Love the Osprey shots and the mallards are cute. Great shots.

  3. A nice, tidy expose! That reclaimed dock is pretty sweet though. I would've loved to hang out and splore' round there as a kid (right now).

  4. The painting is a copy of a Goya piece - the note in the magpie's mouth is Goya's calling card. :) It's one of my favorite paintings at the Met.... great find!

    1. Wow, that's awesome Grace! Thanks for the info, I had no idea!

  5. 700 pennies! What are you, a doctor, or a lawyer? I just don't understand birders with lots of money. How on earth can you bird often enough to be tuned in while still working hard enough to rake in the big bucks?

    Anyhow, I think I understand the artist's intention with the painting. You see, the little girl has loved birds ever since she was an infant, but now, as she's getting older, she really wants to introduce cats into her home. That is, if her parents allow it. Her concern is that cats would frighten her beloved birds to no end. She's not necessarily worried about the cats preying on them, because she would get them as kittens and have plenty of time to train them. She simply needs to find a way to get the birds comfortable with cats before she makes an introduction. That's why she has these three stuffed animal cats watching as she plays with her bird, and that's why the cats look "especially unique". Initially, the magpie wouldn't go near them, or even out of its cage while they were around, but then she distracted it with her dad's business card. The jay became so entranced with the business card that it was willing to approach the cats at very close distances - success! The girl's blank and distant facial expression reflects that her accomplishment with the jay came as no surprise to her - she already knew she was a genius, a natural born animal trainer. She's unimpressed with the challenge this situation offered, and she's ready for the next.

    BTW - Adult Ring-billeds are so striking.

    1. Yes, yes, I follow your interpretation, though I do believe it's a little boy rather than a little girl.


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